Anti-Jordan advert in the Washington Post

While the world’s eyes are focused on Jordan these days, I was shocked to find a quarter page anti-Jordan ad in The Washington Post yesterday [image enlarges on click]. The ad, entitled Highlighting intimidation by the Jordanian authorities was signed by a New York-based businessman named Omar Karsou.

In the ad, Karsou alleges that his son was intimated and harassed by the Jordanian authorities due to the father’s dealings with some Jordanian businessmen. Karsou concluded his ad with the following:

This to me looks more like a move away from basic human values towards a police state more akin to those hated regimes that exist in certain parts of the Middle East.

I never heard of this case or this businessman before reading this ad. Karsou obviously has a grudge, as he was wailing to pay big money to broadcast his case to the world and try to put Jordanian authorities to shame.

Of course, we are only hearing one side of the story. We really do not know what happened. Nor do we know if his allegations are accurate. Regardless, I believe Jordanian authorities should reply to his ad and publish a rebuttal ad — one that offers some explanations — in the same spot in the Post, if possible. Those, like myself, that read the ad yesterday, need to hear an official Jordanian response to such serious allegations, ones which seemed primarily aimed at tarnishing the image of Jordan.

Update: Omar Karsou left a comment on this blog with a bit more detail, saying:

I do not have a personal grudge against Jordan, or the majority of
Jordanians. I love that country, I spent the better part of life in it.
But I happen to love my Son just as much, if not more.. Anyway, before
I placed the ad, I contacted the Jordanian Embassy in Washington,
pleaded with them to help out, even sent them a draft of the ad, to no
avail. Again, I am pleading with the Jordanian authorities to let
justice take it’s course, clamp down on corrupt officials. Only then
will I have achieved my "objective", which I believe, is yours too.